This Statement of Administration Policy provides the Administration's views
on the Veterans, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies
Appropriations Bill, FY 2000, as approved by the House Committee. Your
consideration of the Administration's views would be appreciated.
The allocation of discretionary resources available to the House under the
Congressional Budget Resolution is simply inadequate to make the necessary
investments that our citizens need and expect. The President's FY 2000
Budget proposes levels of discretionary spending that meet such needs while
conforming to the Bipartisan Budget Agreement by making savings proposals
in mandatory and other programs available to help finance this spending.
Congress has approved and the President has signed into law nearly $29
billion of such offsets in appropriations legislation since 1995. The
Administration urges the Congress to consider such proposals as the FY 2000
appropriations process moves forward.
The Administration appreciates efforts by the Committee to accommodate
certain of the President's priorities within its 302(b) allocation.
However, the Committee bill is $2.2 billion below the program level
requested. In order to meet this allocation, the Committee has eliminated
the Corporation for National and Community Service as well as made deep
cuts to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department
of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency's
Operating Program, the National Science Foundation, the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, the Selective Service System, and other Administration
The Administration strongly opposes the Committee's action to terminate the
Corporation for National and Community Service. Eliminating funding for
the Corporation would deny over 1.4 million young Americans the opportunity
to provide vital community services and become better citizens as
participants in the Corporation's AmeriCorps (66,000 participants) and
Learn and Serve (1.4 million participants) programs. If the final bill
presented to the President were to provide inadequate funding for the
Corporation for National and Community Service, his senior advisers would
recommend that the President veto the bill.
The Committee bill would adversely affect the environment and natural
resources, undermine investments in our future through science and
technology, limit our ability to help families struggling to work their way
out of poverty to find affordable housing, inadequately fund the
Corporation for National and Community Service, and adversely affect our
ability to fund unforeseen disasters properly. The Committee bill also
includes objectionable language provisions. The Administration urges the
House to strike these provisions and to keep the bill free of additional
riders. For these reasons, if the bill were presented to the President in
its current form, the President's senior advisers would recommend that he
veto the bill.
The Committee has approved a $4 billion reduction in the 302(b) allocation
for the Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill in order to reallocate
funds to the VA/HUD/Independent Agencies and other appropriations bills.
Such an action is irresponsible and underscores the fact that the broader
budget plan that the Appropriations Committees are being forced to operate
under is simply unworkable.
The attachment provides a discussion of our specific concerns with the
Committee bill. We look forward to working with the House to address our